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    Cuban Dissident Wins Human Rights Prize – HRW

    Cuban Dissident Wins Human Rights Prize
    21 Oct 2010 14:26:51 GMT
    Source: Human Rights Watch

    (New York) – The Council of Europe's award of its Sakharov prize for
    human rights to Guillermo Fariñas, the Cuban dissident who held a
    hunger strike to call for the release of other political prisoners, is a
    welcome step, Human Rights Watch said today. Since Fariñas ended his
    135-day hunger strike, Cuba has released more than 40 political
    prisoners, forcing most into exile in Spain.
    Human Rights Watch urges Cuba to unconditionally release all political
    prisoners and to respect their fundamental rights, including their right
    to remain in Cuba if they wish. Cuba should also reform its repressive
    laws, such as the "dangerousness" statute that allows the government to
    criminalize all forms of dissent.
    Raul Castro's government should allow Fariñas to travel to Europe to
    accept the prize, as well as belatedly permit the Damas de Blanco
    (Ladies in White), who were awarded the Sakharov prize in 2005, to
    travel to accept their prize, a right that has been denied to them.

    "Fariñas's hunger strike made it impossible for the world to ignore the
    dissidents imprisoned in Cuba," said Jose Miguel Vivanco, Americas
    director at Human Rights Watch. "The Sakharov prize highlights Cuba's
    responsibility to free every last political prisoner and dismantle the
    laws that punish dissent."


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